Philips Hue

I am going to test out some smart home products to see how smart they are:

TP-Link N300 Wireless Wi-Fi Router

It is most useful in a situation when you need to set up a local network with a Broadband internet connection (i.e. phone tethering).  The fact it has 2 LAN ethernet port makes it useful to hook up with other smart home devices requiring wire.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CVOLGOG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=amazh-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01CVOLGOG&linkId=15972c0c6abaa4b074a6c83d545e3908

Philips Hue Starter Kit

The changing light scene and music/movie sync makes the most visual impact.  Wow! Cool!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KJYSO68/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=amazh-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01KJYSO68&linkId=988bac350a164cab891fefa70f160e5f

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

You need the lightstrip for accent lighting: behind bed board, under kitchen counter, under entertainment cabinets, behind TV, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014H2OXYU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=amazh-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B014H2OXYU&linkId=59a8951806cf23a5b11e502c3410d629

Amazon Echo Dot

What is a smart home without voice command?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DFKC2SO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=amazh-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01DFKC2SO&linkId=64b578a31881380e75f25136caeb5ad4

Tapes

Scotch tapes

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Smart Home for Newbie

If you know nothing about smart home and you want to learn about it the easy way, I will tell you how:

Just book an appointment with Amazon Smart Home Consultation.

Go to: http://amazon.com/smart and click on “Smart Home Consultation”.  I was able to schedule an in home visit the next day.

When the guy showed up, he showed me some products.  Then I was able to bombard him with questions like cost, standard, use scenarios.

My opinions include:

  • Smart homes stuff are expensive.  If you think you can reduce your monthly bill (electricity, gas, etc), you need to be creative. 
  • Smart homes may fetch you a better home selling price if done right.
  • The current 3 major players are Google Home, Apple Home Kit, Amazon Alex.
  • The lack of a universal standard makes it hard to integrate every devices easily.
  • Smart homes offer you some minor convenience, turn things (light, garage door, door, etc) on/off
  • Smart home is cool.  You can control everything in your house using voice.  The light setting, sound system, TV are all fun to play with.
  • The foundation of smart home is a wireless network that covers your whole house.  So you will need a good home wifi router or a good mesh network like Google Wifi or Eero.
  • If you want voice commands, then you can buy Amazon Echo / Dot with Alexa or Google Home.
  • Then you can get smart lights, home security stuff, TV, sounds, plugs, thermostats.
  • Note that every device likes to come with their own hub.